Saturday, November 17, 2012

Couch2 5K trials

I finally got the motivation to get on the treadmill and get moving. A number of my friends (from our last home) started running and have even run some pretty serious mileage. One did a couch2 5k and it got her out to actually "run" a 5k.

So here we are. Week 1 I definitely ran more than 3 days a week, and probably back to back. I am sure we were still going to the Y, so add in a few Zumba classes, also. My knees were seriously not having it. It was to the point where they were giving out on me. I stopped activity altogether (Zumba, is really bad on bad knees, I learned). It was to the point where I was in constant non-stop pain, and DH actually suggested to call the Dr and stop holding out. The earliest I could get in was 1 month later.

For those who don't know, the Couch2 5K is a program designed to get people off the couch (i.e. no exercise) and up to be able to run 5 kilometers... in an hour? The program I printed out trains only for 30-40 minutes. I will just have to let you know when I make it to the end. It alternates from walking to running. At first, the run is only a minute, then a minute in a half, then less walking, then eventually, its all run.

The wise and practiced DH thought getting out onto pavement would be better than the treadmill. For one, the races are not on the treadmill, and two, propelling yourself is much different than staying up on a moving surface. I very much agree with him and was going to suggest we go together, because I need a buddy or I'll laze out, but then he went TDY and I am struggling to get back on that horse...

In the time I waited to see the Dr, I stopped all serious exercise, maybe a bit of light walking, and yoga to stretch everything out. I bought new shoes, because that is everyone's go-to answer. I probably needed them anyway, but it was not the quick fix promised. I didn't think it would be, but I was glad to finally get some obnoxious colors. I always had some kind of gray or brown scale, now its purple with electric green laces. Ice helped a bit, as did otc pain reliever. By the time the appointment rolled around there was no pain.

In the interim, I had talked to a friend who did marathon training and it turned out we had a lot in common. She gave me some stretches to try and offered a few pointers she learned along the way. I talked to another marathon running friend, who is currently training for a triathlon, and she mentioned her friends sometimes tape their knee caps into place, which I remember from therapy on my knees from way back. I would have tried it but I couldn't remember which direction to move it. Best not to mess with those kind of things.

I started the couch2 5k again. The stretches really did help but my knees were still bothering me. It was, however, much improved. I made sure to run the morning before my appointment so if there was pain I could point to where. My Dr. knew what I was talking about and was surprised that there was no pain at the time or where she pushed and prodded. What she thought it was is in fact extremely common in women and unsurprising. Apparently my outer thigh is stronger than my inner and is pulling my knee cap out of alignment. She explained a few things to try and ways to tweak the machines at the gym to help out.

So far as yet I have not used the machines, but have done a few moves at home. Now I only feel a bit of something, I hesitate to say pain, in my left knee. I would say its phantom, but its only in the one, so it has to be real.

Unfortunately, I have much less motivation, by half, than I did the first time around. I am sticking with the three days only of running so as to give everything time to relax and heal in between. But Week 2, Take 2 was spotty and extended into Monday of Week 3. So I decided to do Week 2, Take 2, Again instead of going on to Week 3. This one has been spotty also. I tried to incorporate Zumba back in, because that is a sweaty workout for me, but the twisting at the knees is not for me yet.

I should interject here to add the fact that I had gone down to 178 lbs before the running (Woot Woot!) and then popped back up to 183. It went as high was 185 and as low as 182. I just can't get past 182, though. I am not strict on my diet right now, so I am not surprised. I am so sick of this food, and with DH gone, trying to make only enough food for one, or enough for two meals (I usually end up with not enough for meal 2) it a bit hard. I need to pull out my MF recipes and start mixing and matching the diet food. I was actually tempted to bring a real food lunch to work because I never seem to eat my afternoon "snack" meal and so am starving by dinner. But I can't eat if I am getting on on the treadmill or going to the Y class, which ends up with dinner around 730 to 9 pm.

Actually, I have had to bring my clothes recently because I am not making it back to our neck of the woods before 5 pm anymore.  Before I would run home, change, and DH and I would go together. I save a few extra miles because I get off the highway somewhere near the gym (although this is debatable because construction closed a bunch of exits that I need, so I end up back tracking). And with my birthday, I have forgotten to take out meat from the deep freeze, sometimes skipping dinner altogether, so the week was kind of shot and filled with take out. (And I managed to lose 2 pounds as of this am, water weight no doubt.) I must say, one thing I learned through this diet program is healthy choices, so I always have a veggie, maybe not enough, or at extra cost, but I always have them.

Secondly for the interjection, I know part of the gain is from muscle. My calves are now quite large. Not a fan of that, but I like knowing its muscle and not fat. And my thighs are much bigger, also. I am not sure how much abs and back muscles play in but I can definitely say those are much improved. So maybe that's part of it. And for those of you under the misconception, fat and muscle apparently weight about the same, the density is the difference. Correct me if you know otherwise.

I might as well add that I can now feel my pelvis bone stick out when I bend over and I noticed a weird ripple in my upper thighs. That ripple, I realized, is my fat moving itself around thanks to my running and muscle building. While its not as pretty as a smooth, huge leg, I will take an ocean of waves because it means I have succeeded in moving it around!! Booya! However that is spelled...

Yoga stretches really helped and I actually incorporated a couple into my pre run stretching. I also found, early on, that my breathing was hard to manage; I always seem to have had this problem. So while I stretch, I count the holding to Yoga style deep breathing. It was like night and day after. It might also help that I started over at the easier level for running. I still think it was a win-win.

My body took to Take 2 like an old hat. It was ready. My breathing wasn't (pre yoga style) and my boredom wasn't. No matter what I was DONE at 15 minutes, it was a struggle too keep going. Flat out bored. Like clockwork. Week 2, Take 2, Again actually got me to minute 17 before I was thinking, "I am sick of this, how much more do I have?"

A while ago I switched from listening and watching television to muted watching and listening to my Wake Up mix on my iPod. I hate commercials. It's kind of like an inside joke with DH because I miss great shows, and know it, because I can't sit through commercials. Good thing we shelled out the moola for dvr like recording. The music really is a great help. I noticed one runner friend uses chill, relaxed music, whereas mine is get up and dance, club style. Maybe, when and if I make it to half marathon, the chill and more relaxed music will help to pace myself.

I have grand plans. I figured a route to a friends house, not using the highway, that would get from here to there and it happens to be a half marathon length. That is my plan: to "run," more like jog to her place and maybe eventually back to mine. Actually, honestly, even if I walked the whole way there it would be worth breaking out the low cal champagne for. However, my point in this side story is that I need foreseeable goals. If I can plan to get to her house, the Disney Princess Run is in sight also. My favorite part is seeing the guys dress up. Some as princesses or in tutus, you know they have to have a sense of humor! One friend has some great pictures of guys really getting into it.

She (house friend) and I plan to do the Color Run and the Dirty Girl, both 5ks, the latter is an obstacle course. I had originally planned to attempt the Color Me Rad, similar in name and in that they throw crazy color on you, for my birthday. I would have cut it a bit close, missed it by a week or two in my training, but it was the motivation I needed to actually start.

With the month long hiatus, this was out the window. A facebook friend mentioned the Color Run in February, also the time of the Dirty Girl. Hey, whatever others like me need for motivation! Of course, they cost quite a bit of money, but at least getting me out there would be worth it. If I could finish without riding the golf cart I would be ecstatic. That is one thing I liked about the Color Me Rad run, it was an all day thing. The website said as long as you make it to the finish line by night fall, you're good. I liked that. I liked that I could pace myself and recover without the pressure of finishing when my body can't do it that soon. I believe the Color Run might be like that also.

Yesterday I got on the treadmill shortly after I work up and really needed 20 minutes of walking to get up to my body loose enough for the walking speed of the program. My body is so ready for the run, my mind is just not there yet. But focusing on the time element of each walk/run phase helps to get past the boredom. Rockin' music helps, too.

So as of today I think I have one more run for Week 2, Take 2, Again. I would need to do it Sunday, but that throws off my nice schedule. I wanted to run after the yoga stretching, because I don't want to stretch for another half hour. Maybe I will do it after my scaled down Zumba, or skip Zumba and just do some weight machines for my thighs. I know a local mil spouse who has also been trying to go the gym in the am. We kind of try to coordinate, with my job being flexible, I usually forget until the morning I sleep in, and then I have missed my Tai Chi class and giving her advanced notice. But if I can incorporate some Tai Chi, I can knock something else off my bucket list!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you really have the motivation. Keep it up! -M